Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
a book by Michael Wolff
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that the book is a #1 New York Times Bestseller.
With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country—and the world—has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief.
The USA has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing president in Trump—you must respect his authoritah!
This riveting and explosive account of Trump’s administration provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office, including:
- What President Trump’s staff really thinks of him
- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama
- Why FBI director James Comey was really fired
- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn’t be in the same room
- Who is really directing the Trump administration’s strategy in the wake of Bannon’s firing
- What the secret to communicating with Trump is
- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers
Never before in history has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House—if it's only halfway accurate, it presents an appalling view of a frighteningly unqualified and unprepared gang that can't think straight
“Essential reading.”—Michael D’Antonio, author of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success, CNN.com
“Not since Harry Potter has a new book caught fire in this way…[Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House] is indeed a significant achievement, which deserves much of the attention it has received.”—The Economist
"The White House has naturally denied and decried Wolff's account, but even if it's only halfway accurate, it presents an appalling view of a frighteningly unqualified and unprepared gang that can't think straight."—Kirkus Reviews"
Donald Trump Jr. said his father 'looked as if he had seen a ghost' when he realized he had won, and Melania Trump was 'in tears – and not of joy'
What makes the book significant is its sly, hilarious portrait of a hollow man, into the black hole of whose needy, greedy ego the whole world has virtually vanished."—The Guardian
What makes the book significant is its sly, hilarious portrait of a hollow man, into the black hole of whose needy, greedy ego the whole world has virtually vanished
"Reviewers generally accepted Wolff's portrait of a dysfunctional Trump administration, but were skeptical of many of Wolff's particular claims. The book highlights descriptions of Trump's behavior, chaotic interactions among senior White House staff, and derogatory comments about the Trump family by former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Trump is depicted as being held in low regard by his White House staff, leading Wolff to state that "100% of the people around him" believe Trump is unfit for office. . . . According to the book, nobody in the presidential campaign team expected to win the 2016 presidential election, including Donald Trump (who reportedly did not want to win) and his wife. Donald Trump Jr. said his father "looked as if he had seen a ghost" when he realized he had won, and Melania Trump was "in tears – and not of joy." . . . Starting in mid-2016, Wolff interviewed campaign and transition staff. After Trump's inauguration and continuing through most of the first year of his presidency, Wolff was allowed access to the West Wing of the White House, conducting research for his book through interviews and as a 'fly on the wall' observer." (Source: Fire and Fury, Wikipedia)
Starting in mid-2016, Wolff interviewed campaign and transition staff. After Trump's inauguration and continuing through most of the first year of his presidency, Wolff was allowed access to the West Wing of the White House, conducting research for his book through interviews and as a 'fly on the wall' observer
One quote from Steve Bannon was that lawyer Marc Kasowitz had gotten Trump "out of all kinds of jams on the campaign – what did we have, a hundred women? Kasowitz took care of all of them."
One quote from Steve Bannon was that lawyer Marc Kasowitz had gotten Trump 'out of all kinds of jams on the campaign – what did we have, a hundred women? Kasowitz took care of all of them'
A guy named Christopher Steele assembled a damaging report—now dubbed the “dossier”—suggesting that Donald Trump was being blackmailed by the Putin government. (Trump denied it when he learned of it.) The media wouldn't touch this nastiness at first—where was the proof? But the media hated Trump, so just before Trump's first scheduled press conference, CNN broke details of the Christopher Steele dossier, hoping no doubt that this was the first step toward impeachment. And then Buzzfeed published the entire report—an itemized bacchanal of beyond-the-pale behavior with no concrete proof to back it up. Talk about fake news. Henceforth, the mainstream media were called the fake news media by Trumpsters—especially Trump.
As Wolff says, "On the verge of Trump’ s ascendancy to the presidency, the media, with its singular voice on Trump matters, was propounding a Trump-Putin conspiracy of vast proportions. The theory, suddenly presented as just this side of a likelihood, was that the Russians had suborned Donald Trump during a trip to Moscow with a crude blackmail scheme involving prostitutes and videotaped sexual acts pushing new boundaries of deviance (including 'golden showers') with prostitutes and videotaped sex acts. The implicit conclusion: a compromised Trump had conspired with the Russians to steal the election and to install him in the White House as Putin’s dupe." They say Trump was mad when learning of this scheme, but then it's better to be pissed off than pissed on!
Okay Vladi, you old dog, I lead or you bleed—got it? Okay Donny, whatever, dude! (Jeez—he's so bossy!); Wolff says 'On the verge of Trump’ s ascendancy to the presidency, the media was propounding a Trump-Putin conspiracy of vast proportions'—perhaps starting a demagogic wolf pack?
For the Trump team, his style, his unmediated connection—his speeches, his tweets, his spontaneous phone calls to radio and television shows—was revelatory, a new, personal, and inspired politics. For the Democratic side, Trump's style was clownishness that, aspired to the kind of raw, authoritarian demagoguery that had long been discredited by history and when it appeared in American politics it reliably failed. (Note: In Germany in the 1930s, it succeeded amazingly.)
Obama was an aloof, vengeful liar—a fact the liberal media covered up. Trump is a vengeful liar as well, but—in contrast to Obama—is very WYSIWYG and he lets us see the real guy underneath. We find that reassuring after the series of liars (Clinton, Bush, Obama) we have tolerated since 1993 where you could never know what they were really thinking or planning. He doesn't cave to mainstream media pressures. He wanted no part of the political correctness obsession of the colleges, the media, and Hollywood. Most people would have caved in to the pressure, but not Trump, which we respect, in spite of his myriad flaws and bad policies.
As most of us know without needing to be told, there is no such thing as alternative facts, no matter what some airheaded dizzy blonde like U.S. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway says or doesn't say. The very idea fits a demagogic agenda to a T. The idea is truth destroying, reality bending, and a transparent, laughable evasion consisting of Orwellian newspeak. If such a thing as alternative facts were to exist, they would be only in Orwell's novel 1984 or in an alternate universe. As journalist Dan Rather wrote about this alternative facts nonsense, "Facts and the truth are not partisan. They are the bedrock of our democracy. And you are either with them, with us, with our Constitution, our history, and the future of our nation, or you are against it. Everyone must answer that question." Trump's answer is to use all this to manipulate people out of believing in any other reality except Trumpworld. The reality star becomes the reality bender.
If such a thing as alternative facts were to exist, they would be only in an alternate universe
Trump's demagogic answer to the alternative facts nonsense is to use all this to manipulate people out of believing in any other reality except Trumpworld, a.k.a. Alternative Hell
Bannon thought that the media’ s claim to be the protector of factual probity and accuracy was itself a sham. Bannon is right. It is a fact that if the CIA filters in our major media decide to publicize lies—such as Iraq's WMDs—then the facts are cast aside and the lies rule the day, even if the result is a great loss of life and a great increase in the U.S.'s debt—in the trillions of dollars. The shadow government (Deep State) runs the show, like it or not. See The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government.
Wolff considers Trump's constant tweetstorms on Twitter a 'fundamental innovation in governing: regular, uncontrolled bursts of anger and spleen.' We consider his tweetstorms to be encouraging—we get to see the real feelings and thoughts of our President
Wolff considers Trump's constant tweetstorms on Twitter a "fundamental innovation in governing: regular, uncontrolled bursts of anger and spleen." We consider his tweetstorms to be encouraging—we get to see the real feelings and thoughts of our President (a very unique phenomenon) on a regular basis, even if some comments are tacky or nutty. A nutty Trump truth beats a calculated Obama lie, if you're interested in geting a read on where someone is really at as opposed to getting a calculated, disingenuous sound bite.
Bannon was able to get Trump's campaign dedicated to a single political view: that the path to victory was an economic and cultural message to the white working class in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Hillary never got her people that focused because elite egoism told her that since the polls said she'd win, why bother with strategy? Without Bannon, Trump would have become the crude, sexist, racist, xenophobic, misogynist who nearly dethroned the Establishment Queen, but with Bannon he became the crude, sexist, racist, xenophobic, misogynist who became the 45th president.
Bannon’ s strategic view of government was shock and awe; i.e., dominate rather than negotiate. So Trump's agenda was to obliterate Obama's legacy—as if he'd never existed. Trump's executive orders undid Obama's executive orders.
Katie Walsh was an inside-the-Beltway figure—a swamp creature in the White House actually being effective
Katie Walsh was an inside-the-Beltway figure—a swamp creature. Her expertise was prioritizing Beltway goals, coordinating Beltway personnel, marshaling Beltway resources. A head-down-get-things-done kind of person was how she saw herself. She was a no-nonsense lady. She became the effective middle person among the three men working hardest to maneuver the president toward their own agendas—Bannon, Kushner, and Priebus. Each man saw the president as something of a blank page—or a scrambled one.
Each one communicated to Trump—sometimes through Rebekah Mercer or Paul Ryan or Rupert Murdoch—who acted as exponents that increased the power of the message. The trouble was that Bannon, Kushner, and Priebus were all working at cross purposes so each would tend to cancel out the others—often purposely. Trump tended to keep the opinion of the last one he spoke to and discard or simply forget what the others had said.
No wonder Trump kept repeating words like fantastic when communicating—his brain was full of messages cancelling out other messages so he was left with Trump's own ideas, which were convoluted and scattered and messy and more emotion than logical thought. So "oh sure, that is a fantastic, fantastic idea from a great—really great—fantastic guy." It was hard to listen to because it sounded as barren as we have learned that Trump truly is. All brand, no sand.
Trump and Fox star Sean Hannity talked by phone nightly, so the middle of the night tweets and the morning Oval Office talks and calls had a distinct conspiracy theory flavor to them—like Hannity's show.
Trump and Fox star Sean Hannity talked by phone nightly, so the middle of the night tweets and the morning Oval Office talks and calls had a distinct conspiracy theory flavor to them—like Hannity's show
But not only didn’t Trump read, he also didn’t listen—or learn. Trump stonewalled every written page and balked at every explanation. Trump preferred to be the person doing the talking. And he trusted his own expertise—no matter how paltry or irrelevant—more than anyone else’s. What’s more, Trump had a very short attention span, even when the man thought you were worthy of attention. Trump thought that expertise—liberals' obsession—was very overrated, since so many experts made so many bad decisions. So why not just trust my gut? And that is what he did, which spread chaos near and far, which made him a constant subject of media attention, which he liked, all of which proved that his gut was indeed the best source to consult.
It's not that Trump cannot read, it's just that he is so busy listening to his own words that looking at someone else's words seems traitorous to his Yuuuge ego
'Trump may be a Frankenstein creation, but he was the right wing’s creation, the first, true, right-wing original,' wrote Wolff
The search engines' insistence on sending us search results that are like what we generally search for and look at hardens and concentrates our beliefs and biases, so that we become black or white minded, with no shades of grey. Democracy gets tossed into the dumpster like so much fast-food debris when there is no middle ground and our brains no longer recognize compromise or discussion as viable actions. This—along with fake news and Russian interference—polarized the country before during and after the 2016 election so nothing in people's lives ever changed anyone's minds. TVs, radios, and the Internet were simply chosen as comforting belief confirmation devices, and social media "discussions" were mere accomplices.
Democracy gets tossed into the dumpster like so much fast-food debris when there is no middle ground and our brains no longer recognize compromise or discussion as viable actions
Compare the amount of info available to the amount YOU get to see—do you really want Big Brother censors deciding what you should see and what should be hidden from you??!! See The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think
"It was Donald Trump who was able to bring this country, this party, and this movement together."—Reince Priebus
Of course, even though Trump united the G.O.P., he did not unite the conservative movement, which was as scattered as ever, and he certainly did not unite the country. Rather he created a more serious rift between left and right than it has had since the Civil War, and the country is more disunified and polarized and divided than ever. Red and blue hate one another, as do left and right and conservative and liberal and Democrat and Republican. Social media and the filter bubble magnified this split between red states and blue states. Priebus may have been thinking of how whites furious about liberals' political correctness and antiwhite racism chose Trump as the crude but effective antidote. And of course the ever-faithful basket of deplorables, many of whom had no idea what political correctness even meant, joined with the furious whites to help Trump bring home the bacon.
Many were sceptical of Hillary's elitist ideas, but her 'basket of deplorables' comment was the last straw for many voters in red and swing states
According to Brian Klaas, "The Founding Fathers of the United States anticipated that this moment would arrive. They designed a system built to withstand a divisive demagogue. They put checks and balances in place. They carved out a separation of powers that makes it difficult to consolidate power in a single person. But their enduring genius is being tested in ways they could not have anticipated. Americans are split, and despots are most likely to emerge when the political or economic system — or both — fractures. As a nation fractures, it creates an opening that an opportunistic, self-interested demagogue can exploit. That opening now exists in America. Donald Trump is starting to exploit it." (Source: Of course it can happen here: Trump’s no despot — but he’s no friend to democracy, Brian Klaas, Salon)
The U.S. is anything but 'the United States'—it's fractured into 3 countries: Bubbaland, East Liberalland, and West Liberalland. It would solve a lot of problems if this devolution was made official